THE NEXT STEP IN EVOLUTION
A Sequel to “The Evolution of Man,” being a brief
survey of the psychological evolution of the Aryan
Race, with some notes on present-day world problems
J. Emile Marcault and Iwan A Hawlinczek
Published by the Theosophical Society in London
|I||THE FIRST SUB-RACE (HINDU)||13|
|II||INDIA : THE STEM OF THE ARYAN TREE||19|
|IV||THE THIRD SUB-RACE (IRANIAN)......||31|
|IX||SOME SIGNS OF THE NEW AGE||64|
[Page 7] This booklet forms the sequel to The Evolution of Man, [Published by the Theosophical Society in England ] and takes up the story of our racial history, as seen from the psychological standpoint, at the place where the former work left off. It is the purpose of this present work to show that the Aryan Race is the natural successor of those which have preceded it, and that in its development it follows the same succession of psychological phases as the earlier Races have done. This will bring us to the point where we can say, without any shadow of doubt, that a New Age is now dawning in the world; that it is accompanied by, or rather, caused by the emergence of a new level of consciousness; and that this will be pre-eminently manifested in the new subdivision of the Race which is now arising, chiefly in Western America. We can even go a step further and indicate, from among the uncertainty and turmoil of modern conditions, those factors, movements, tendencies and lines of thought [Page 8] which are significant of the future and to which our attention can profitably be turned.
This is not the place to repeat our description of the psychological phases of human evolution. For this has already been set out at some length in the previous booklet, to which the student is referred for particulars. Here it must suffice to say that in all the evolutionary cycles which we have examined, the same succession of phases has been observed. In every case consciousness has been found to work through functions which follow each other in definite sequence, which is expressed diagrammatically in Table I, below.
|Phase||consciousness centred in|
Each great racial type evolves with its centre of consciousness in one of these phases — in that which corresponds numerically to the order of appearance of the race upon the stage of history. But within that fundamental phase, which may be regarded as the key-note of its consciousness, each race passes through all the seven stages in turn, as sub-divisions of the principal one.
In our present work we are concerned exclusively with the Indo-European or Aryan Race. This is the fifth of the great Root Races, and therefore during the whole period of its existence, past, present and to come, its centre of consciousness will always be found at the level of the synthetic or social mind. In each Sub-race, however, this social mind focuses itself chiefly in that function which corresponds to the number of the Sub-race. Reference to Table II will make this clearer.
ARYAN RACE (Social Mind Consciousness)
|1st||Indian||Social Mind focussed in Perception|
|2nd||Egyptian||Social Mind focussed in Action|
|3rd||Chaldean||Social Mind focussed in Emotion.|
|4th||Mediterranean||Social Mind focussed in Analytical Mind|
|5th||Nordic||Social Mind focussed in Emotion|
|6th||now appearing||Intuition descends into Social Mind|
|7th||Future||Will descends into Social Mind|
Something of this will be illustrated in the subsequent chapters. But we shall also go a step further and indicate, though only very briefly, that each Sub-race, at its own appropriate sub-level, passes [Page 10] through the same succession of phases in a series of sub-sub-levels. In this manner, by an exhaustive study of the whole civilization of any nation, it would be possible to determine its psychological age with even greater exactitude than can be done in the case of an individual by means of intelligence tests.
To one who has not previously thought in these terms, this scheme of psychological unfoldment must appear exceedingly complex and difficult. Complex it certainly is in its detailed ramifications, although the fundamental plan is of extreme simplicity. But perhaps it can be rendered clearer with the help of the following simile. Imagine a tower consisting of seven rooms, one above the other. Commencing with the lowest room, let each be named in succession after one of the psychological phases. There is a water supply to the tower, with a tap in each room, beneath which stands a large glass cylinder, capable of holding seven gallons, and graduated in gallons after the manner of the domestic milk measure. Water is supplied to the taps from a tank which, in the case of the Aryan Race which we are considering, is placed in the fifth room (Social Mind). The tank and plumbing represent the mechanism of the functions, while the water is the flow of life which pours through them. The tank being in the fifth room, the whole supply of water for the entire race proceeds from the level of the social mind. If, now, the tap in the lowest room be opened, this water of life, descending from the social mind, will pour out through the faculty of perception. If the tap in the room above this be [Page 11] opened, the water, still descending from the same source, will emerge through the faculty of action. And so on, with the different taps, each of which represents the conscious sub-level of a Sub-race.
Moreover, as the water pours out of any tap into the cylinder beneath, the level will gradually rise, passing each gallon mark in turn until the cylinder is full. As the gallons in every one of the cylinders will be named in exactly the same manner as the rooms in the tower, it will be seen how each Sub-race also passes through seven phases or variations of its own characteristic level of consciousness.
One other point emerges from this simile of the tower. The tank which contains the life-content of our Aryan Race is situated in the fifth room. It cannot therefore supply water to the two rooms above it. Similarly, the consciousness of the Race, save in exceptional individuals, cannot rise above the level of the social mind. But what does occur, when the time for the Sixth and Seventh Sub-races arrives, is a downflow of water from the sixth and the seventh rooms into the tank in the fifth — water which comes from the reservoir on the hills, a more ultimate source of supply than the tank provides. In similar manner one can observe, in the social consciousness of our Race, the effects of a downflow of life from the intuitive level. For that is the secret of the New Age which is just now dawning in the world, as we shall attempt to show in the subsequent pages of this book.
This analysis of levels of consciousness could be pursued further, until the individual human being [Page 12] was reached, for he also, in each of his incarnations, repeats this sequence up to the level which represents his present point in evolution, after which he slowly adds something fresh to his stock of conscious realisation. But for our present purpose it will suffice to confine our attention to the main subdivisions of our Race, and to just one of the minor cycles, represented by the Christian era in Western Europe.
By way of explanation it should be added that the chapters dealing with the Second and Third Sub-races have been left very short, not through any lack of material for study, but because the limitations of space make it preferable to concentrate on those divisions of the Race which have a more immediate influence upon the present world situation.
THE FIRST SUB-RACE (HINDU)
THE Hindu peoples of India represent not only the First Sub-race, but also the Root Stock of the whole Aryan Family. They constitute the stem of the racial tree from which the other Sub-races spring forth as branches, so that, in dealing with the psychology of these people, it must be remembered that they not only express the specific aspects of consciousness which belong to a First Sub-race, but that they also reflect (or originate?) every change in the consciousness of the remaining six Sub-races, even though these changes may occur long after the latter have separated from the parent stock.
for example, the advent of the Lord Buddha in India seems
to mark an important period in the life of the other Aryan
Sub-races. Among the Third (Iranian) Sub-race it coincides
with the period of Jewish captivity in Babylon, during
which the Jewish religion and Bible were refashioned on
less Semitic and more Aryan lines. Similarly, it is the
time of Pythagoras for Greece and Rome, the Fourth Sub-race.
Numerous similar instances could be cited to show that
the reaching of a new level of consciousness in India coincides
with the beginning of a parallel achievement of civilisation
in the corresponding Sub-race.[Page
The unique contribution of the Hindus, in then-specific capacity of First Sub-race, is probably best illustrated by the Laws of Manu. Be it remembered that the first psychological phase, the sure foundation for all future development, is characterised by stability. Moreover, this being a Fifth Root Race, the basis of that stability lies at the level of the synthetic or social mind. Hence one expects, and finds, in India the basis of a perfectly ordered and stable social system. The Laws of Manu, when they were properly applied, provided the most complete and perfect system of civilisation of which the Aryan Race is capable. They are based upon the higher mind conception of brotherhood on a hierarchical plan, and they define with penetrative understanding the principles of conduct for every type of citizen, assigning to each the appropriate place, function, rights, duties, etc., to which his degree of evolution entitles him. The first broad division is into the four castes of Brahmana (priest), Kshattriya (defender), Vaishya (merchant) and Shudra (labourer). In their original form these castes were definitions of social function based on spiritual attainment and not, as in many cases they have since become, barriers to human intercourse. The confusion of this system today is the result of excessive sub-division within the castes, and the consequent development of exclusiveness where brotherhood and mutual service should have been the ideal.
brief outline of this system may usefully be given here,
for details the student is referred to The Science of
Social Organisation by Bhagavan Das.[Page
The highest caste is that of the Brahmana, It is composed of those who should be the most spiritually enlightened people in the land, those who, by virtue of this fact, are the ones most worthy of reverence and respect. Such people, and such alone, are considered fit to be the teachers of the nation, both in the religious and in the scholastic sense. The true greatness of a nation can be assured only when its leaders are drawn from the very highest among the people, from those whose vision is widest and most profound.
To the second caste, the Kshattriya, belong the defenders of the nation. This includes not only the military forces, but also the civic authorities of government and justice, from the kings, princes and judges to the humblest lawyer and policeman. Upon them devolves the duty of assuring to every citizen the rights and privileges which are due to him.
The third caste, the Vaishya, comprises the merchants and traders, on whom the material prosperity of the nation as a whole depends. The two highest castes are unproductive in the financial sense (as they are in our own western civilisation also). By the revenues derived from the trading of the merchants, therefore, provision is made for the religious, the educational and the civic services of the realm, in addition to the profit which is the just due of the individual trader.
Finally, in the Shudras one finds the numerically largest group, which includes the labourers and artisans, upon whose faithful service the prosperity of the land ultimately depends. The fruit of their [Page 16] labours brings to them a sufficiency of the necessaries of life for themselves and their families, and a larger share of “rights” than is accorded to any other section of the community. As one ascends the scale of the castes, the number of personal rights diminishes, while the measure of one's duties and obligations to others grows larger.
Not only do the Laws of Manu, as indicated above, afford a complete and stable organisation of the nation as a whole, but they further offer appropriate guidance for each individual during the course of his life. For the first twenty years the boy or girl belongs to the “student” group, and society is expected to provide for his well-being and to give him education, not merely intellectual, but spiritual, moral and physical. Between 20 and, say, 42, the duties of “householder” devolve upon him, with all that the care and maintenance of family and social life requires. After 42 his now grown-up sons are expected to give him food and shelter, while his own services are required for the helping of the community. At 60, if he so desires, he can become the sannyasi, and retire into seclusion to meditate upon life, its meaning and its lessons, during which time he is supported by the free-will offerings of food from the people in general.
The ancient Hindu faith came to the support of this social organisation by emphasising the essential brotherhood of all mankind (and more particularly of all Aryans) and the duty ( dharma) which each owed to the other in fulfillment of his religious obligation. It is worthy of note that this oldest of Aryan [Page 17] civilisations has persisted with practically none but superficial changes from the earliest times — and one may, perhaps, venture to predict that it will survive in all its essentials until the end of Aryan history, for it is the foundation stone of the social mind consciousness, and when the foundation fails the entire structure falls in ruin.
Like every Root Race, Sub-race, nation or individual, the Hindu people pass through the cycle of seven psychological phases as facets of their main psychological type. Thus one can see clear indications of the perceptive, the active, the emotional periods, etc., as their history unfolds. The Laws of Manu represent the first phase, as has already been indicated. The second (active) phase follows. It is the period when the great epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata arose. Socially, this is the feudal period of Hindu history. The development of Hinduism (from its earlier Brahminical form) with the Vedas as its scriptures, and the great mystical experiences of the first Upanishad literature, represent the emotional (third) phase. Its influence on the religious life of Iran (Third Sub-race) is a recognised historical truth. The lower mind (fourth) period is that of the Lord Buddha, and is marked by the rebellion of the analytical mind against what was then considered as the “blind” faith of the preceding age. A similar event took place at the Renaissance against the unreasoning belief of our own mediaeval times, with a corresponding assertion of reason in place of faith.
The birth of the higher mind (fifth) period, [Page 18] approximately at the beginning of the Christian era, has not been marked by any great change in the civilisation of India, but one rather striking psychological fact emerges, which is the establishment of active communication between India and the Mediterranean peoples, proofs of which are gradually coming to light through archaeological researches in Turkestan and elsewhere.
As early as 300 B.C. Megasthenes, a Grecian ambassador to Bengal, wrote of the splendid moral and social attainments which he found in India.
The intuitional (sixth) period is beginning in India today, as it is also in other parts of the Aryan Race. Some of the signs which serve to indicate this will be mentioned later. At the moment we will draw attention only to the significant movement towards national unity which is becoming increasingly evident, and is a mark of the unifying influence of the intuitional world.
INDIA: THE STEM OF THE ARYAN TREE
LET us now turn our attention to the Hindu Sub-race as containing the seed of all the other Sub-races of the Aryan family. This can be amply demonstrated from Indian art, from language, religion, indeed, from all the departments of civilisation. Space forbids of more than a single illustration, for which Hindu philosophy has been chosen. There are six great systems of philosophical thought in India, and analysis shows that four of them correspond each with one of the four Sub-races (second to fifth) existing in the world today; further, that one of these systems is emerging into popular vogue in modern times, and is connected with the consciousness and with the infant Sub-race of the new (sixth) age; and, finally, that the last of these systems has in it the elements which one will expect to see developed by the Seventh Sub-race and the seventh phase of consciousness, when the time comes for these to make their appearance.
It is not suggested that these systems arose in the order in which they are given below. We are only concerned here with the fact of their existence and the nature of the principles on which they are based. In so brief a statement as alone can be given, we shall inevitably be accused of misrepresenting the [Page 20] magnificent philosophical truths which these systems enshrine like fire in the heart of a beautiful jewel. The student who wishes to know more is therefore referred to some of the excellent textbooks on the subject, and especially to that by the late Professor Max Müller entitled, The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy.
First, we would mention the system known as the Purva Mimamsa. This is one of the two (of which the Vedanta is the other member) that is based mainly upon the Vedas. The Vedas themselves comprise two main divisions, described as the “work” part and the “knowledge” part. The system of philosophy under consideration concerns itself with the former division of the Vedas. It begins by regarding everything as being alive, personifying the powers of nature in much the same fashion as one observes in Greek mythology.
“The Vedic poets spoke not only of rain (Indu), but of a rainer (Indra), not only of fire and light as a fact, but of a lighter and burner, an agent of fire and light, a Dyaus (Zeus) and an Agni (ignis)”. [Six Systems of Indian Philosophy, page 35]
The Purva Mimamsa then proceeds to give, with a wealth of detail, the exact nature of the sacrificial, mantric, and other observances which are to be accorded to each of the gods (of which there are thirty-three million!). So much is this the case, indeed, that some authorities regard it more as a guide to practical religion than as a philosophical system. But this is precisely the kind of teaching which suits the second or active phase of consciousness, [Page 21] and one can easily see how the Purva Mimamsa is that seed in the philosophy of the Hindu Race which, developed and expanded, becomes the religious mysticism of the Second (Arabian) Sub-race. It is essentially a philosophy of action ( karma) and emphasises the law of Duty (dharma) by which is understood the performance of right action, without personal desire, as the method of attaining to the supreme bliss. The resemblance of this to the religion of the Arabian Sub-race, as practised in ancient Egypt, will be evident when we come to deal with that branch of the Aryan family.
The second system of philosophy to be considered is the Samkhya, attributed to Kapila. Like all these philosophies, it also offers happiness as the ultimate goal of humanity, but teaches its followers to gain this through wisdom rather than by action. The world is seen to consist of Prakriti and Purusha. The former, sometimes translated as Nature, may be described as the root substance containing within itself the possibilities of all things. It is akin to the German - Urstoff. It moves, evolves, only when it comes under the influence of a Purusha, a spiritual Self, an individual perceiver. This spiritual self is indestructible; its goal of bliss is to be sought through withdrawal from matter, whereby the operations of Prakriti will automatically cease, and with them the sorrows attendant upon experience in a phenomenal world. The spirit thus regains its oneness, its freedom. The process is a sublimation of desire for the many (manifestation) and a regaining of that sense of wholeness which is always characteristic [Page 22] of unfettered life. Making due allowance for the fact that the Samkhya is a philosophy, and therefore regards things from a mental standpoint, the essence of its practice is the purification of desire, wherein it closely resembles that teaching of purity which is the heart of the Parsee faith (Iranian, Third Sub-race).
We come now to two closely related philosophical systems which are based almost entirely upon logic. These are the Nyaya and the Vaiseshika, the former being better known as southern or Indian Buddhism. Both of them appear cold and unimaginative in comparison with the other systems, and are akin to western philosophical conceptions of the last century.
Through the mass of recent literature on this subject the views of Buddhism are readily accessible to western readers. It is essentially a religious philosophy of the mind, whose methods are strongly reminiscent of the more familiar Greek (Fourth Sub-race) eclecticism. It is easy to perceive in the Nyaya teachings the Hindu correspondence to the lower mind consciousness of the Mediterranean Sub-race.
The Vaiseshika philosophy,
attributed to Kanada, is not essentially different from
the Nyaya. But it introduces the idea that there
are certain universal categories, through a true understanding
of which it is possible to reach the summum bonum.
Of these categories there are seven, viz. : Substance (Dravya);
Quality (Guna); Action (Karma); Genus, or
community (Samayana); Species, or particularity
(Visesha); Inhesion, or inseparability (Samavaya);
and Privation, or negation (Abhava), Time and [Page
23] space are classed as Substances, being
regarded as eternal and limitless. There is in these ideas
a considerable resemblance to the notions of Aristotle
and also of Kant, who is the greatest philosopher of the
higher mind in the Nordic (Fifth) Sub-race. So once again
India bears the seed of later racial developments.
The next system to examine is the Vedanta, the one which, with its various sub-divisions, is most widely followed in India today. It is the companion system to the Purva Mimamsa in that they both are based upon the Vedas, but it deals with the “knowledge” part of this scripture and not the “work” part. As a philosophical system it is completely monistic. There is but one reality, and that is the universal Spirit ( Brahman). There never can be anything save the One, for the existence of a second would immediately imply a limitation, an incompleteness in the One; and the Limitless cannot be limited. It follows that all phenomena, in which there is ever the appearance of separateness, are illusion and unreal. Salvation is thus to be gained through a knowledge of Brahman, through the surrender of all sense of separateness and through the recognition of the self and the Universal as one.
It will be noted how, in many ways, the Vedanta resembles the teachings of Krishnamurti, whose insistence on the unreality of the phenomenal and the need for union with Iife, the illimitable, is already well known. And as he is here expressing the consciousness which will become characteristic of the Sixth Sub-race when that develops, once again [Page 24] we find in India the seed which will flower in the far West. As the nature of this consciousness forms the subject of a later chapter, we will not enlarge upon it here.
For the sake of completeness, it would be well to include a few notes on the last of the six systems, although, if our contention be true, this forms the seed for a type of consciousness which is not due to be developed until the Seventh and last of the Aryan Sub-races appears. The system in question is that of Yoga, a companion to the Samkhya, but differing from the latter in that it finds room for an Individual Creator as well as for the Infinite. The supreme Ishvara is the Iogos of a solar system; He is one among many Purushas. While, therefore, He is not the Infinite in the philosophical sense, He is, nevertheless, the infinite of consciousness so far as our solar system is concerned. Devotion to Him is thus included as part of the discipline whereby liberation can be gained. For the system of Yoga is essentially an ascetic discipline, and although its goal is union with the Infinite (the word yoga is usually translated as union), nevertheless the process is one of discrimination, of separation of the Self from all that is the Not-Self. There is the constant distinction between the actor and the action, i.e. between the will and its resultant effects. Hence yoga is also described as “skill (success) in all actions”. It contains the elements of that realisation of the supreme Will as the one power behind all action (manifestation), and of one's Self as being that Will, which is the type of consciousness due to be [Page 25] expressed in the seventh phase. Traces of the same teaching and discipline abound in freemasonry.
In bringing this chapter to a close, let it be repeated that Indian philosophy is only a single illustration of our theme that in the First Sub-race of the Aryan family is to be found not merely a civilisation characteristic in itself, but also one which is indicative of the entire potentialities of the Root Race which it founds. We are only too conscious of the grave deficiencies in our description of these philosophical systems as such, but we hope that enough may have been said for the purpose before us. Perhaps other students may be forthcoming who will collect the evidence along similar lines from the fields of art, of literature, of language, etc., so that a more comprehensive picture of this psychological view of evolution may be made available to the public.
SECOND SUB-RACE (EGYPTIAN-ARABIAN)
THE second branch of the Aryan tree is the Arabian, whose civilisation reached its height in the land of Ancient Egypt at the time of its regal splendour. In the psychology of this Sub-race can be seen the social mind looking out upon the world through the window of Activity — a correspondence to which is observable today in children between the ages of six and ten years. It is a time when the whole of life is magical, when every visible phenomenon has behind it a hidden spring of mystery. Indeed, one should perhaps reverse this expression, for the inner mystery is looked upon as the reality, the outer form being not so much an appearance in itself as a veil drawn lightly over a moving power which it scarcely serves to hide.
In the case of the child this stage of consciousness has been most wonderfully portrayed by R. L Stevenson in The Land of Story Books, and other poems of a similar kind.
Applying this same description to the life of a people, one has the key to much that took place in the ancient land of Khem.
In religion there were the many gods, the forces behind all the modes of manifestation (Activity). There were the stately rituals, unrivalled for their [Page 27] splendour, by which the gods were approached, and through which the powers emanating from them became efficacious in the outer world. But behind and above all these was Amen-Ra, the One Supreme God. He represented, psychologically, the one power of the synthetic mind which could be felt by all as a subjective pressure, though not yet in this early Sub-race as an objective reality.
Hence the existence of the Egyptian Mysteries, in which the hidden knowledge was taught to the initiated. Knowledge as an objective reality belongs properly to the fourth and fifth phases of development. The Aryans being a Fifth Race naturally crave for and appreciate this knowledge. But in its Second Sub-race the mind is not yet developed into an objective and exoteric instrument save by those who have undergone special training in the mystery schools. To the masses, knowledge is still largely esoteric, and therefore taught by means of symbolism.
For the same reason, when the mind comes to express itself in action, it cannot yet manifest as “applied science” in the manner that is common today, but only as “magic”. Chemistry, which formed one of the subjects of the mystery teachings, was not regarded as a “natura” science after the fashion in which the modern world understands that term, but as a manifestation of the living powers of the gods. The twentieth century, with its discoveries of ions, electronic rings, etc., has made it clear that Chemistry is a science of the etheric levels of the physical plane. This would naturally make a strong [Page 28] appeal to the Second Sub-race man, whose consciousness functions through the vital activity.
Their system of government likewise embodies the absolute of action. The supreme figure in the state is Pharaoh, who unites in his person the functions of both king and high priest. He is the earthly symbol of Amen-Ra, the ultimate power; his decree is absolute and may neither be changed nor disobeyed. The royal acclamation: “Life, Blood, Strength, Pharaoh, Pharaoh, Pharaoh”, expresses this view, and indicates the three powers of the Trinity as being attributed to the executive head of the State. Moreover, each royal dynasty built its own capital city as the embodiment of its power and the symbol of its active strength. Indeed the whole civilisation is characterised by the massive strength of its architecture and the prodigious size of its buildings.
art of Egypt is likewise essentially that of action, sculpture being the
most popular mode of its expression. In the earlier times it merely portrays
with but little attention to the form. Later, however, the forms become marvellously
accurate, the action itself being symbolised as attributes. The style of
sculpture in statuary is hieratic, i.e. it fixes the meaning in a
symbolic, rigid attitude. Their symbolic writing (hieroglyphics) and their
decorative sculpture, either engraved or in low relief, show the same method.
Functions of state or social life, trades,
professions, occupations, etc., are portrayed in one representative movement,
a synthetic act arrested in a typical attitude and supplemented by
appropriate attributes. [Page
The connection between the psychological level of the Egyptians and the Purva-Mimamsa philosophy of India has already been indicated. It is also to be observed that the Sub-race came into prominence contemporaneously with the great epic period of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata in Indian history.
It might be well to add a few words concerning the Arabs, who are the modern descendants of this Second Sub-race. The reader will scarcely need to be reminded of the restless nomadic habits of these people, of their love of strength, of skilful horsemanship, of what is often termed the “manly” exercises. All of these are natural manifestations of that dominant active expression which is characteristic of the second phase in any cycle of evolution.
Islamic Faith, too, of which they are ardent followers,
is one which inspires them to action, often with considerable
violence, in support of its tenets. It also teaches them
unquestioning submission to kismet, the decree of
fate. To ourselves, of the Fifth Sub-race, who have some
objective realisation of the power of Mind over Matter,
fate is not an unalterable decree but a circumstance which
it is possible for us to avert, or at least to modify,
by our own knowledge and efforts. So that when, for example,
we are stricken with an illness, we do not submit to it
as a manifestation of divine displeasure, but we call in
the physician and attempt to effect a cure. The Second
Sub-race, however, not having objectivised the mind to
this extent, still looks upon these external occurrences
as the direct result of divine interference, and accepts
them as such.[Page
So once again, by means of these few illustrations drawn at random from a great wealth of possible material, we can prove the truth of this psychological scheme of evolution, and see how the Egyptian-Arabian Sub-race does indeed express the power of the synthetic mind working through the active function.
THE THIRD SUB-RACE (IRANIAN)
WE must pass on now to a consideration of that branch of the Aryan tree, the third, which peopled the lands of Persia and Chaldaea, from which we shall endeavour to show that in them the social mind is expressing itself through the emotions.
The seed of this consciousness in the Hindu Race has already been noted in the mysticism of the Upanishads and in the Samkhya philosophy. The latter, having objectivised matter, the world of action, as the “not-self”, lays its emphasis upon life, the reflection of buddhi at the emotional level.
Zoroastrianism, the religion of Iran, takes up this idea and develops it. Fire is the symbol of deity, and purification, the work of fire, is the central ideal of life. Only where there is purity of emotion, purity of life, can there be right living and happiness. Hence such sayings as these:
“Purity is for man, next to life, the greatest good, that purity, 0 Zarathustra, that is in the Religion of Mazda for him who cleanses his own self with good thoughts, words, and deeds.
“Make thy own self pure, O righteous man. Any one in the world here below can win purity for his own self, namely, when he cleanses his own self with good deeds”. [ Zend Avesta, Part I, page 141, translator J. Darmesteter]
“Content is the happiest condition of man, and the most pleasing to his creator.
“Every thought, word and deed whose result is joy, happiness, and commendable recompense ... is well thought, well said, and well done”. [Dadistan-i-Dinik, XXXVIII,2] [Page 32]
This science was, of course, of much deeper import than the mere casting of horoscopes and the prediction of petty happenings to the individual or the community. It was a most profound research into cosmogony and celestial correspondence, uniting the evolution of man with that of the universe of which he is a part, and penetrating the veil of many facts in nature which are still mysteries for the modern world.Yet it is true that much of it became desecrated to suit the desires of a race whose unevolved members considered enjoyment and success as the main factors in life. The deeper side of astrology has remained cloaked in esotericism since that time.
The government of the land passed through a number of changes not unlike those witnessed in English history, the alterations occurring as the Sub-race passed into the successive sub-levels of consciousness which comprise its evolutionary cycle. In the early days there were a number of tribal kings, striving among themselves for wider domination with varying degrees of success. Later they became subject to an emperor, somewhat after the manner of the German Confederation in the seventeenth century. Finally a united nation arose with a limited monarchy in which the king consulted with his nobles on matters of State policy.
But it is, perhaps, through their Art that this Third Sub-race has become most justly famous, as those who visited the recent Persian Art Exhibition in London will readily concur. Most of the exhibits were, of course, relatively modern, but they are nevertheless still typical of the nation in which they originated. The richness and perfection of ornamentation will have been remarked:
“In the archaic pottery of this first Susa type . . . one sees the gradual unfolding of a distinctive capacity for lucid and abstract ornament, for a mastery of living line, for decorative energy, that guides Persian art through its long life.
“It has moments of lyrical intensity when the poetic instinct, so universal in Persian life, finds full scope in the most delicate and exhilarating inventions”. [A. Upham Pope, in The Illustrated London News, January 10th, 1931] [Page 34]
As a race the peoples of Iran certainly had “a poetic instinct”, to which they gave expression in every department of their lives. Their days were full of song as they went about their duties, and each discovery of the archaeologist serves to confirm the fact that their life was centred in the emotions, as is natural in the third phase of any evolutionary cycle.
The modern Persians, with their art so full of emotional expression, still remain as a splendid illustration of this law. In their illuminated manuscripts a curiously constant type of Venusian feminine beauty holds a very large place. A love of symbolism in their mysticism and their predilection for wild animals and plants, is also characteristic of that level of consciousness, as was seen in our study of the Third Root Race. [See The Evolution of Man, 54, 56, 57]
Through Byzantine channels, the artistic perceptions of the Persians exercised a considerable influence on the emotional period of Western Europe during the Middle Ages.
FOURTH SUB-RACE (MEDITERRANEAN OR KELTIC)
THE peoples belonging to this Sub-race are the analytical mind division of the higher mind Race. Including, as it does, all the Greco-Latin peoples, it presents for study such a variety of national subdivisions, each showing forth a characteristic sub-level of consciousness, that it becomes well nigh impossible in so short a compass to give a comprehensive picture of the Sub-race as a whole without committing many and serious sins of omission with respect to its component nations. A frank confession at the outset, however, may win for the writers some measure of absolution from the reader.
An attempt will first be made to give an outline of the general psychology of the whole Sub-race, and afterwards two special sub-divisions (the Greeks and the Romans) will be singled out for somewhat fuller treatment. Other national sub-divisions include the Pre-Greeks (Pelasgians), the Italians, French, Spanish and Irish peoples.
A prominent feature which characterises all the members of this Sub-race is their love of beauty. The particular form of beauty which appeals most strongly varies, as one would expect, with the different nations, but the appreciation of beauty itself is [Page 36] common to them all. It will be observed that the Aryan conception of beauty differs from the Atlantean. In Japan, for instance, only one beautiful object at a time is permissible, this being entirely satisfying to the formal analysis of the lower mind (Fourth Root Race). But in the fourth sub-division of the Fifth Root Race the universal synthesis of the higher mind is added to the analysis of the lower mind, so that for our race beauty consists in the harmonious blending of several different elements into one synthetic whole. For sheer ravishing beauty we prefer a garden with its riot of colour to a single blossom; the richness of a sunset to the blaze of the noonday.
In art itself there is for this Sub-race an idealisation of form, which is worshipped for its own sake, and not necessarily in association with any religious beliefs. Human forms are usually preferred to natural ones, and sculpture predominates, especially among the earlier Mediterranean nations, over the other modes of artistic expression.
In religion there is offered a lower mind explanation of forms. Each individual form has its own special deity attached (Greece and Rome), with specific functions and appropriate mode of approach. As the Sub-race reaches the later phases of its psychological development this polytheistic view is replaced by a universal Creator. This occurs only when, in Christian times, the Sub-race enters its fifth sub-cycle, and the synthetic power of the higher mind begins to appear more objectively. But the higher mind conception of evolution (see below, under [Page 37] geometry) is even now resisted in its spiritual application by the Roman Church, which is specially strong in Latin countries.
Their philosophy is likewise that of the lower mind, dealing with analytical concepts which culminate in the Platonic “Archetypes” and the “Innate Ideas” of Descartes. The Divine is conceived of as Mind (higher), and is to them universal and unanalysable. The method of their philosophy is logic, the modus operandi of the lower mind. Attention has already been drawn to the influence of Buddhism and of the Nyaya philosophy on this Sub-race.
Geometry is the special mode of science that arises, for it deals with space relationships, which are the peculiar field of lower mind activity. Time relationships, such as an understanding of cause and effect, belong to the higher mind, and therefore do not appear directly in this Fourth Sub-race. Hence evolution, which is the science of causation in time, finds no place in their scheme of things.
In government there is developed a theory of rulership, based upon logic, which finds its highest expression in Plato's Republic and the Politics of Aristotle. Machiavelli's The Prince also arises from the same psychological conceptions. It is the age of absolute monarchy, sometimes in the most literal sense, and sometimes in the sense that the political dominates the religious authority. Indeed, wherever there was a great hero in Greece, a powerful emperor in Rome, the attributes of divinity were applied to him.
Language was developed with a special view to give [Page 38] perfect and clear expression to analytical concepts. Of this fact Greek, Latin and French are typical examples, the clarity of their expressions being notorious. There is a saying in France : “If it is not clear, it is not French”.
passing on to a more detailed consideration of the Greeks
and Romans, we will indicate the place of the different
nations comprising this Sub-race, so that the student who
so desires may make a deeper study of their psychology.
|2 Activity||Pre- Greeks|
|4 Lower Mind||Romans|
|5 Higher Mind||(a) emotional)||Italians|
|(b) lower mental||French|
|(c) higher mental||Spanish|
The main influence throughout, however, is that of the higher mind focussed through the lower.[Page 39]
From first to last of her life as a race, Greece was specifically emotional : enamoured of life, ardently conscious of the beauty of heaven and earth, of woman and of man, of ideas and virtues. But the object of that emotion was the activity of the analytical mind, the consciousness which the Sub-race as a whole was developing. Hence the unquenchable curiosity of the Greek, his attention turned outwards to nature and to man with happy, inexhaustible interest, his vivid appreciation of knowledge, his delight in the exercise of the body, his love of analysis, dialectics, logic, disputation, the clash of ideas and words.
Yet, because the activity of the mind results in the discovery of principles and laws, the emotionalism of the Greek's bred a love of order, a joyful poise, a radiant sense of measure, which no other race known to us has possessed in the same degree.
also produced a natural love of form; the lines that define
the shape and the light that makes them clear, the sharp
reliefs and deep shadows of sculpture being preferred to
the shades of graded colour in painting; likewise the grace
of moving forms in dancing and the solid elegance of the
free column in architecture.[Page
Significant of that emotional race is the personifying, myth-creating faculty of the Greeks. Every object which arouses interest becomes a personified deity, a form of loveliness as well as an object of worship — an emotional absolute. Sky, earth, mountain, ocean, a brook, a tree, all become gods and goddesses, maenads, dryads, nymphs. That warm, potent, fearful life which stirs in the underworld and moves all things to growth is Pan — a god perhaps of some former race, but now revived because the consciousness that has singled him out arises in the Greek. To account for the interaction of natural forces in the building up of the world, these deities are made to enact the drama of cosmogony; we have the great myths related by Hesiod.
At no time does the Greek lose that myth-creating faculty. Plotinus, at the end of the cycle, while giving the highest expression to Greek science and philosophy, makes nature speak and act as a person, not in the poetic sense used by classical imitators in the seventeenth century, but as sincerely as Plato saw the world filled with life and regarded the sun and the moon as gods.
it is not only natural objects that are divinised. Mental
and moral abstractions, such as Harmony, Glory, Victory,
Peace, etc., each have their temples and statues and are
worshipped as deities. Even at the time when ideas, having
become objective, cease to be divinised, they continue
to be seen through the emotions and, as with Plato, are
universalised, being worshipped for their beauty rather
than accepted for their truth.[Page
Greek drama is occupied with the working of the law of destiny, seen as moulding the lives of men from without, a law to which the gods also have to bow. In the plays of our own classical period it is the psychological law, inherent in man's nature and moulding life from within, which forms the basis of the drama. In both, the idea of law predominates, but in Greece there is more insistence on the pathos, the emotional, truly tragic element, which the “chorus”, as representative of society, intensifies in its lyrics. In modern Europe the emphasis is on the moral or the social element.
The development of the “State” also shows the same characteristics, though at different levels of consciousness, in both periods; it is the practical logic of government which will make the city or nation a harmonious whole, inspiring Machiavelli’s The Prince as well as Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Politics.
The foregoing general observations will be sufficient to show that the Ancient Greeks were, fundamentally, the emotional nation of an analytical mind Sub-race. Let us now follow their development chronologically, so that, in the course of their history, we may be able to trace the sequence of psychological epochs through which these people passed. The first and the last of these epochs are difficult to define in so brief a survey as this; we shall therefore limit ourselves to the central period, which covers the second to the sixth. These correspond approximately to the dates given in the following table :[Page 42]
EVOLUTIONARY CYCLE OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS
|4th||Analytical Mind||550-100 B.C.|
|5th||Social Mind||100 B.C.-A.D. 150|
Cosmic Sense (Intuitional)
Let us consider each of these in turn, beginning with the
ACTIVITY PERIOD (900-700 B.C.)
During this period we find the glorification of the man of action, especially the warrior type, whose strength and skill in battle are divinised. He becomes the hero, half-god, half-mortal, his weapons being forged by a god or goddess, and on whose behalf the gods intervene in battle. Since natural objects are regarded as gods, these also have their relationships with the heroes, as, for instance, when the river Skamandros fights with Achilles and calls his brother Simois to his aid. During this epoch, too, divine genealogies are an essential part of history. Politics are of the feudal type, with a number of small independent kingdoms in frequent rivalry and warfare. Literature consists chiefly of epic poems, exalting the hero and his fighting exploits (Homer's Iliad and Odyssey), or else describing the practical life of the fields (Hesiod's Works and Days — a poem interspersed with precepts for success in dealing with men rather than moral rules of conduct).
The corresponding period in the Fifth Sub-race [Page 43] cycle is the feudalism of the Middle Ages (q.v.) with the difference, however, that the social sense is already active and the knight is therefore a moral and social, as well as a military, hero.
EMOTIONAL PERIOD (700-550 B.C.)
Most of what has been said about the Greek Peoples in general applies with particular force to this epoch. Lyrical poetry now comes into prominence; all the emotions are expressed, a special metre being invented for each type. The iambic expresses anger, invective, satire (Archilochus, Simonides, etc.); the lyric proper is used for love and passion (Alkaeus, Sappho, etc.); the elegiac is used for sadness and mourning (Kallinus, Mimnermus, Tyrtaeus, etc.); while for the expression of ethical sensibility, in which the Greek delighted, all these forms are used (Solon, Theognis, Phokylides). So successful, indeed, is this form of expression that Solon declares it to be superseding public speaking in the Agora. We find Xenophanes writing iambic and elegiac verses in denunciation of the immorality of the gods. Another symptom of this epoch is the organisation of religion into individual cults.
ANALYTICAL MIND PERIOD (550-100 B.C.)
This is the Golden Age of Greece, when the inspirational and creative power of its emotion is brought to bear upon the analytical mind consciousness that characterises the Mediterranean Sub-race as a whole. It brings about an efflorescence in all directions.
Philosophy still includes science in its purview, [Page 44] for the categories of the synthetic mind remain subjective. The effort in philosophy is towards a search for unity, the reduction of the multiplicity of things under the principle of non-contradiction. This is the absolute of relationship. Relationship itself (i.e. classification) is a function of the analytical mind; Unity is its absolute. In the first instance this is applied to substance, and much speculation is expended in discovering the undifferentiated primordial substance of which all the world is the outcome. The school of Miletus (Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes), with which Pythagoras is connected, decides on one or other of the elements first. For Thales the earth is a circular disc floating on the ocean. Anaximander conceives primordial stuff as intermediate between air and water, being one and infinite. Anaximenes regards it as air, for “air is nearest to immaterial existence, it is infinite and never exhausted”. For the Ephesus School (Heraleitus) the one absolute which is the source and end of all relationships is motion (“ everything flows”). For the School of the Eleatics (Zeno, Democritus, etc.) space is the ultimate reality, the atoms that fill it being the ultimate state of substance.
It remains for Pythagoras (572-500 B.C.) to find the purest expression of the consciousness of his age, by conceiving of relationship as Number, and of its absolute as The One. Mathematics is therefore an equivalent of philosophy, being divided into logistica or the art of calculation (our mathematics) and arithmetica, the science of living numbers (our metaphysics). In the words of his disciple Philolaus : [Page 45] “Number is sovereign, self-generated, and autogenous energy, which maintains the eternal permanence of cosmic things”. To all these great thinkers philosophy is a logic, not of pure ideas or moral laws as it becomes in the Roman and Christian cycles, but of living cosmic essences. Pythagoras refers each angle of a triangle to a god.
The other great symbol of natural order is Music, a symbol already expressed by Orpheus in the prehistoric origins of Greece, and revived in the Orphic Mysteries, in which music and dancing were used to convey metaphysical teaching. Harmony, the “music of the spheres”, is the emotional mode of expressing the analytical mind absolute of relationship.
So far as consciousness permits, natural science is rapidly developed throughout this period. It is mainly directed to the analysis of space, in the departments of astronomy, mechanics and geometry. The analytical mind cannot, however, build the synthetic mathematics which the later (fifth) cycle devised. Medicine becomes a true science with Hippocrates, who affirms disease to be a natural, not a supernatural, process, and founds his therapeutics on the healing power of nature.
literature, Pindar mentalises the Pantheon, turning its
glorious associations to the exaltation of personal glory,
such as triumph in games, etc. The stories and symbols
of the old personal religion become objectivised in literary
ornament. The chief form of poetry in that lower mind age
is drama, as also it was in the corresponding epoch of
our own fifth cycle.[Page
In sculpture, Phidias and Praxiteles bring the worship of the human form to its perfect expression, temples, houses and public places being filled with statues. Architecture likewise attains the height of its glory in such buildings as the Parthenon.
Plato crowns this period with his magnificent system, wherein philosophy, mysticism, ethics and poetry are welded into a harmonious whole, giving the clearest formula to the Absolute of this emotional nation. This is the One, the Good; His universe is One, logically disposed. Ideas (lower mind absolutes) form the intelligible world, below which come the sensible and the physical worlds. Man participates in all these worlds. Evolution, through metempsychosis or rebirth, guides all men to the supreme Good. Plato's system expresses most magnificently the marriage of emotion and mind. The broadest flights of intellectual speculation, the subtlest delicacy of reasoning, are blended with the most inspired imagination and a constant glow of aesthetic emotion. To him indeed Beauty is Truth, Truth is Beauty, and both are life.
The ideas in the intelligible world are neither the moral abstractions of the Roman ethical philosophy nor the universals of our higher mind cycle. They are refined, living essences, the highest in the universe, resplendent with glowing beauty.
SOCIAL SENSE PERIOD (100 B.C.- A.D. 150)
Although united in language, religion and culture, the social sense period of the Greeks is not marked by political unity. After internecine warfare they [Page 47] are subjugated by Macedonia, arid Alexander spreads their culture throughout the then known world, even as far as India. Later this empire falls to the Romans, Greece lending its culture to Rome, and both continuing their evolution together.
Alexandria is the crucible of this syncretic magic. Philo represents there the union of Hellenism and Judaism, and describes the many communities in which the various lines of tradition are fused into a common doctrine of soul healing (Therapeuts). The Gospel story of the flight into Egypt confirms the link between Christianity and the religious, philosophical and political syncretism which had its centre at Alexandria. The seed of consciousness of the synthetic mind Sub-race (Nordic) is sown in this soil by Christ, and begins to germinate, using the mystery symbols for this social sense consciousness (the Eucharist).
COSMIC SENSE PERIOD (A.D. 150-350)
This includes the splendid efflorescence of Greek culture known as Neo-Platonism, in which contemplation of the One no longer, as with Plato, leads to illumination only, but to mystical union. Plotinus is the outstanding figure of this period, his school at Rome concerning itself as much with practical mysticism as with philosophy. The same quality of emotional perception of the mental absolutes is to be found in him as in his predecessors. But the mystery teaching, with its splendid myths of the soul's journey through the worlds of light, and its life with the gods, ceases to be mere teaching and [Page 48] becomes experience. The contemplation and the ecstasy of Plotinus transcend both the rationality of Plato and the causality of Aristotle, as his speculation reconciles them with the “universal soul” of the Stoics. He merges his conscious self with the Life and Truth of the world, a “self-realisation” and “liberation” which is characteristic of the cosmic or intuitional sense.
WITH Ancient Rome the lower mind Sub-race reaches its analytical mind period. The real history of Rome begins with the mind phase of consciousness, contemporarily with the settling of Pythagoras in Sicily. The earlier phases of its history are legendary; Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, belong to the activity period; Numa Pompilius, who established its religion, is related to the emotional period.
It has already been observed that the lower mind period of a nation's history is accompanied by the unitary organisation of the people, when the logic of government develops into a science of politics. Among the Greeks (emotional nation) this phase was marked by the City State, while the classical and renaissance periods of the Nordic (fifth) Sub-race manifested it in the form of absolute monarchy. Rome portrays the complete expression of this aspect, the One City with its powerful unitary organisation and its scientifically clear legal formulae which have since become a model for all nations.
From 500 B.C. onwards Greece and Rome evolve side by side, Greece being the teacher and educator of Rome in all branches of culture except politics and warfare, in which the Romans develop their own [Page 50] superior achievements. Philosophy, art and science are all borrowed from the Greeks.
In 100 B.C. the two peoples enter their social mind period, the better organised Roman empire conquering that of Alexander. The intuitional (sixth) period is also common to both, the Greek Plotinus settling in Rome and opening there his school of intellectual mysticism.
The psychological nature of Roman consciousness can be indicated more clearly by a consideration of some special lines of evolution.
The Roman religion is a typical example of lower mind consciousness. It is abstract and analytical in the highest degree (“abstractions” being the ultimates of analytical concepts, and not to be confused with the synthetic categories of the higher mind. Redness, hardness, goodness are instances of the former, cause, mode, etc., being examples of the latter). The nature of these religious abstractions is partly active, partly moral, and partly concerned with local groupings. Belonging to the first category we find a multitude of gods concerned with government. This section of the Pantheon is an almost inexhaustible analysis of the idea of Providence, For each particular act of Providence there is a special god or goddess. For example, the protection of a man's life from birth to death includes the following: Vaticanus to help the infant to utter its first cry; Fabulinus for the first word; Educa (from edo, I eat) for eating; Potina for drinking; Cuba for keeping the child quiet in its cot; Abeona to guard it when it goes out and Adeona to protect it on its return; [Page 51] Domiduca to lead it home; Levana to educate it. And so it continues, the list being almost interminable.
These gods have no legends, no history, no name save that of a function. They are numina (divine manifestations) rather than persons; one might almost say they were “abstractions” had they not been so real and living to the Roman lower mind consciousness.
As in Greece, but to a far greater degree, the higher moral abstractions are divinised. They have their temples, their priests, their devout worshippers. To our synthetic mind consciousness these abstractions seem cold, but they were living entities to the lower mind consciousness of the Romans. Among them are to be found Fides (faith), Concorda, Victoria, Pax (peace), etc., each with her shrine and appropriate worship. Other curious deities are Salus Populi Romani (the Health and Prosperity of the Roman People), Saecuritas Saeculi (the Security of the Age) and Indulgentia domini nostri (indulgence of our master), a touching deification of a very real aspect of Providence for the slave.
The local (i.e. space) abstractions are marked by the protective deities assigned to every field, wood and river. The boundaries of each meadow and the stones that designate them, the garden, the quarters and streets of a city, have each their protective gods — not patron saints, but actually their space divinised. These gods are known as genii.
Groups of men also have their gods. An Association, a club, an army, a legion, a cohort, has its [Page 52] special genius, in proof of which many a votive inscription has been found addressed by soldiers to the genius of their regiment. Even individuals possess a genius, who is their divinised individuality (c.f. Greek daimon), hence the phrase indulgere genio, to follow one's bent, or to obey one's nature.
Such a form of religion naturally proceeds in its analysis to an infinite degree. Petronius sarcastically makes a peasant woman say: “Our country is so peopled by divinities that it is easier to find a god than a man”. It is therefore not surprising to find the Roman Pantheon perpetually open to admit some forgotten god. Even the gods of conquered peoples were included. As the peoples became part of the empire, so their gods entered the Pantheon.
Towards l00 B.C. Varro wrote forty-one books of Antiquitates, in which he dealt with religion in a typically lower mind fashion. The nature of the gods was decided according to their attributes, religion being reduced to a classification of functions, a true analysis of the idea of God, whose unity was ever present behind the multiplicity of gods.
The religion of the Romans was closely allied with politics. It had no dogma, but consisted of an elaborate cult, and nothing was undertaken in State or family without first consulting the gods. Any political officer could become a priest; the same motives and the same civic merits made one a praetor or an augur, a consul or a pontiff. Cicero extols the wisdom of the earlier Romans for appointing the same persons to be both priests and magistrates.
This blending of religion and politics reaches its [Page 53] climax in the social sense (fifth) phase of Roman history, when the emperor is raised to divine rank, an exaltation which cannot be conceived of as mere adulation. It was the natural evolutionary outcome of that particular aspect of mind which the Fourth Sub-race embodies. No race has dignified the “person” as the Romans have done. Contrasting the Roman stolidity with the versatile nature of the Greeks, Cicero rightly affirms the superiority of the former in the conduct of everyday life, in the affairs of home and State, in law, in military discipline and the art of war; also in the “sense of duty” which he analyses into dignity of manners, firmness, magnanimity, uprightness and good faith. All these are characteristic of personal or lower mind consciousness.
now to philosophy, it is not strange that, among all the
philosophies of Greece, Stoicism, with its insistence on
the personal dignity and restraint of the individual, appealed
more than any other to the Romans. It spread throughout
the empire, even among the slaves, and became the religion
of the élite. Without entirely losing the
structural complexity it had in Greece, its Roman form
insists more on the unity than on the multiplicity of the
divine. “God is the soul of the world”, says Varro, i.e. the
animate principle which pervades the earth and rules it
by motion and reason. Heralding the social sense period
of this Sub-race, Cicero asserts that “all men are composed
of the same elements, created by the same God, for the
same end; they are all similar”. In this he formulated
moral doctrines which afterwards furnished Christianity
with its first philosophy.[Page
Under the pressure of that faith the old walls of tradition were broken. Freedmen were admitted into high places, mercenaries into the army. The ideal was no longer to live more maiorum, according to the custom of the forefathers, but to live like a man. Virtue ceased to be a contemplation of universals as it was in Greece; it became a concrete law of life in the form of personal ethics. Seneca, the great apostle of the Stoic faith, still more fully expressed the social sense by calling God “Our Father, who loves us with potent affection, all-seeing, under whose eye we must live purely”. “Receive the sinner with a tender and fatherly heart, and instead of driving him away, try to bring him back to good”.
Yet, in spite of its almost Christian sentiment, this is a lower mind form of religion, and hence its opposition to Christianity. It is intensely personal, its aim being to make the perfect individual; it does not tend to make the world happier. The person of the sage is, it is true, adorned with love, and he even compares favourably with God. “Like God, the sage fears nothing; but that assurance is in God an effect of his nature, whereas the sage reaches it by an effort of his own will”. At death he says to God: “I give Thee back my soul better than Thou hadst given it to me”.
The social emotion with which the synthetic mind period penetrates Roman Stoicism does not change its nature. It remains the religious philosophy of an analytical mind race. It does, however, provide the main thought structure for the new higher mind religion of Christianity. The idea of the City or [Page 55] State becomes that of the Church and the Pope-Emperor (c.f. St. Augustine's City of God.). By reducing the complex system of Greek cosmology and psychology to the two simple duads, God and the world, soul and body, it gives to Christianity the moral basis for the latter's social ethics.
close study of other departments of civilisation is not
possible here, and must be left to the interested reader,
but enough has been said to indicate that the Romans showed
forth pre-eminently the lower mind consciousness of the
Aryan Race. Indeed, being the fourth nation of the Fourth
Sub-race, they may, from this point of view, be regarded
as the typical example of the Keltic or Mediterranean peoples.
In no other Aryan nation can one find so clear an illustration
of the analytical mind level of consciousness.[Page
THE FIFTH SUB-RACE (NORDIC OR TEUTONIC)
until the appearance of the Fifth Sub-race is the pure
higher mind consciousness expressed, and not even then
until its fifth sub-division reaches its fifth phase. Nevertheless,
the Sub-race as a whole, including the peoples of Germany,
Holland, Britain and Scandinavia, all show a marked development
of synthetic mental processes. The available data cover
so wide a field, and are so full of detail, that it is
difficult even to begin to make suitable selection, and
we must content ourselves, as before, with a mere indication
of general principles.
The special religion of this Sub-race is Christianity, with its strong emphasis on social service, as instanced by the second of the “two greatest commandments” and the parable of the Good Samaritan. As a religion of the higher mind synthesis Christianity has no equal, save, possibly, in the all-inclusive Hinduism, in which the Vaiseshika philosophy embodies the seed of this fifth cycle.
It may serve to make matters clearer if, before proceeding, we indicate the psychological position of the different Nordic nations, in order that students may distinguish between the main consciousness of the social mind which animates them all and the [Page 57] subsidiary phases which give to each nation its special characteristics. This is set out in the following table :
|1. Sensation||Slavonic, Croats, Slovaks.|
|2. Activity||Prussians, Letts, Lithuanians.|
|3. Emotion||Germans, Austrians.|
|4. Lower Mind||Dutch, Frisians.|
|5. Higher Mind||
Social mind periods have a peculiarity, which does not seem to apply to earlier psychological phases, in that their various sub-levels are contemporaneous rather than successive. This was observable already in the case of the Mediterranean Sub-race, for, whereas the earlier stages represented by the Pre-Greeks, the Greeks and the Romans arose in succession, in its fifth cycle a number of Latin nations (Italians, French, Spanish) appeared simultaneously. The same is true of the Nordic Sub-race, in which the Slav, Prussian, German, Dutch and Anglo-Saxon elements are all co-existent, developing side by side.
In the organisation of the State, after passing through a number of experimental forms in accordance with their cyclic psychological history, these nations arrive at the characteristic type of government belonging to the social mind. This is scientific democracy, wherein representative government is embodied in a parliament which is the expression of the social will. “Civil Service” also [Page 58] is developed as an institution, and is directly responsible to the people through parliament.
As regards the social system, it is interesting to observe the different ways in which the various nations approach their problems — each characteristic of the sub-level of consciousness which it represents. Among the Slavs, for example, the masses of the people are of extreme simplicity and, up till the time of the revolution, more or less content to remain as they had been for centuries. Government, of a most autocratic description, was in the hands of the few. Here was a system showing the static character of the first psychological phase. The recent revolution involving the overthrow of this system is one among the many signs that a New Age has indeed begun.
It has already been observed (see Chapter II) that there is a close connection between the first and seventh phases, for in India we find the root and also the ultimate flower of the Aryan Race as a whole. This same idea, applied to a Sub-race, may throw some light on the recent developments in Russian political life. In our Fifth Sub-race Russia is reaching a democratic form of government at the same time as it is being attained in India, and much interest should attach to their social experiments.
In Germany, under the Prussian dominance, everything was arranged by imperial command. There was, of course, a parliament, but for the most part people lived in accordance with the instructions issued through the army, the police and officialdom in general — a domination by virile force which prolongs the feudal system in our modern day, [Page 59] and is characteristic of the second psychological phase.
The third (emotional) nation comprises the South Germans and the Austrians. The high development of their music is proverbial. Their love of metaphysics is no less remarkable, although this is not so universally recognised as an expression of the emotional phase of consciousness. What St. Thomas Aquinas represented to the Mediterranean Sub-race, Kant fulfils for the Nordic peoples. Another characteristic feature is the development of the Reformation Churches, which suppress autocracy in the field of religion and substitute for it a type of democracy which, later, is extended to civil government. Their poetry and, folk songs are full of sentimentality concerning the love emotion.
Among the Dutch (fourth or analytical mind nation) one recognises that love of detail (arising from the lower mind) coupled with skilful organisation (arising from the synthetic mind) which makes their social system a model of efficiency and “tidiness”.
In Britain (fifth or social mind nation) there is probably more individual freedom than in any other nation, because, however incompletely as yet, each citizen recognises his own responsibility for social order and therefore requires less external guidance and constraint. The English police are almost unique in that they can carry out their duties unarmed.
A new view of Empire has also arisen with the Nordic Sub-race. In former ages (and in the earlier phases of the fifth) the basic conception of empire [Page 60] was the annexation of territory by conquest, and the subsequent levying of tribute from the conquered peoples. In the days of lower mind dominance this was both natural and justifiable. But now that the synthetic mind is the centre of our life, the type of empire which corresponds to this is the only one which may hope to survive and fulfil the purposes of spiritual evolution. And this is the voluntary union of a number of equal members on the basis of some common ideal and understanding. The general type can be seen in the United States of America, in the British Empire (with, at present, the exception of India), and in the projected United States of Europe.
Among the Arts, one sees the development of symphonic (i.e. synthetic) music in place of the melodic (i.e. analytical) modes of the earlier sub-races. The orchestra becomes a synthetic group which can act as a concerted whole. It would be profoundly interesting to comment on the variations of treatment which characterise the music of the different nations, but lack of space forbids. Painting, too, becomes less individualistic. While portraits still abound, there is also added the depiction of national events, such as battles, civic ceremonies, etc. In Literature also the social element is introduced.
Language is a function which belongs especially to the social mind, since it is the great medium of relationship between human beings. The most wonderful of all Aryan languages is undoubtedly Sanscrit, being unsurpassed as a means for the expression of synthetic concepts. The word karma, [Page 61] which is so familiar to theosophists, serves as a useful illustration of this fact. Literally, it signifies “action”, and is usually translated as “cause and effect”. But karma implies very much more than is generally understood in either of its translations. It begins with the present moment of time in which a particular event is occurring. It then takes into its embrace the whole of the past, gathering up all the influences from all previous lives which have in any way contributed their quota of influence to bring about that event, and focuses them upon the instant of time called “now”. Our own word “cause” is not usually taken so comprehensively. The word “heredity”, when applied to the individual and eternal human spirit, might serve as an alternative and possibly clearer translation of karma.
The companion word, dharma, which envisages the future, could then be rendered as “variation” in place of the more usual “duty”. It represents the next step which the individual is to take, the next action which he will perform, and which will modify his future karma.
This is but one of thousands of possible instances which serve to reveal Sanscrit as a language of unparalleled splendour and richness for the expression of synthetic concepts and human relationships. Next in order of usefulness from this point of view comes the English language, arising among the fifth nation of the Fifth Sub-race. Contrasting Mediterranean French with Nordic English, one sees at once how in the former the emphasis lies on the analytical concept, wherefore there can be only one [Page 62] way of correct expression in any given case, whereas in the latter it is the idea or synthetic concept which is important, and a considerable latitude — and even ambiguity — in expression is permissible, so long as the desired idea is conveyed.
We must note, too, how the consciousness of the three aspects of time (past, present and future) is fully appreciated only in the Nordic Sub-race, by the development of an analysis of the future. This was examined at some length in our earlier booklet, [The Evolurion of Man, pages 59, 69, 89] so that here it must suffice to draw attention to the accurate and detailed analysis of the future which the Nordic languages provide (English offers some twenty-five variations of the future tense), and to the inclusion of evolution among the scientific concepts of the day. Where there is no objective understanding of the future there can be no science of evolution, for the essence of such a science lies in the fact that a specific type of future development can be brought about by the manipulation of appropriate causes in the present, while a study of the past in relation to the present reveals the nature of those causes. Horticulture and stock-breeding afford examples of this.
human (spiritual) terms this means that man himself, as
a spiritual entity, is subject to the evolutionary process
and can therefore, to a certain extent, determine his own
future. This is implicit in the Christian doctrine of immortality,
although, until the full realisation of the three aspects
of time became possible in recent years, it was coupled
with the [Page
63] doctrine of special creation which the
pre-fifth phase of consciousness demands. Now this is giving
place to the higher mind concept of an enduring spiritual
entity, who is the heir of his own past and the embryo
of his own future. This is true spiritual evolution.[Page
SOME SIGNS OF THE NEW AGE
FROM the foregoing chapters it will be evident that we are at the commencement of a New Age in consciousness. The Nordic Sub-race has passed through the first five of its sub-levels and is now preparing to enter upon the sixth. Added to which comes the appearance, chiefly in western America, of a new racial type, derived from Aryan sources, which is the nucleus of the Sixth Aryan Sub-race. All this is accompanied by changes and upheavals in every department of life, for the sixth sub-level of consciousness brings with it a new outlook and a new cycle of manifestation. It is the purpose of this chapter to indicate the nature and significance of some of these changes.
The sixth cycle of consciousness touches the intuitional world. But, reverting to the simile of the tower in the Introduction, it must be clearly recognised that the reservoir of Aryan consciousness is in the synthetic mind, and can never rise above that level. The most that can occur is the downflow of some water from the intuitional world into the social mind tank, giving to its contents a new colour and therefore changing the water supply of the whole edifice. The consciousness of the new Sub-race, and of the New Age, is therefore that much of the [Page 65] intuition which it is possible to introduce into the higher mind. That much, and no more; the true intuitional possibilities remain subjective for our Race.
We use this phrase for want of a better, knowing full well that it is inaccurate. What the correct expression will be remains for the Sixth Root Race to determine when it arises. The word “intuition” means, literally, “knowledge coming in”, and ours being a higher mind Race, it implies knowledge entering the mind. This can occur in two directions, from without (so long as the within is ignored) and from within. Until recently it meant knowledge coming to the mind through the senses. Kant used the word with this meaning, and in addition spoke of the “pure intuition”, that of time and space, which belongs to the mind alone, but only when working in touch with outer reality. Not until 1889 did Bergson, the forerunner of the New Age, give to it the meaning of knowledge coming to the mind from within.
But all this concerns essentially the mind level of consciousness. We have at present no perception of, and certainly no language in which to express, any analysis of the sixth world which in Sanscrit is termed the Buddhic, and to which Krishnamurti refers as “Life”, “Truth”, trackless and unanalysable. This experience and the words to express it await the appearance of the Sixth Root Race.
intuition is at present understood as the conscious power
which knows, loves and acts through the mind, the spiritual
energy which is the life of men.[Page
Various attempts have been made to describe it; to Bergson it is the élan vital, in Freud's psychoanalysis it is libido, Krishnamurti, whom we consider to be the incarnation of this new race consciousness, uses various expressions such as life, truth, the kingdom of happiness, the process of its realisation being described as liberation. Whichever description be preferred, it must have dynamism as its essence, and this is the word that we therefore propose to use in our present work.
The mind, on the other hand, is now able to analyse the formal world, and to synthesise its phenomena into a number of fundamental categories — time, space, substance, etc. — which are seen as equal members in a synthetic universe. These were, till recently, thought to be absolute realities, but the awakening of the intuitional sub-level of the higher mind has enabled us to analyse them, and see them as partial and related forms of our consciousness. Hence relativity is the word which describes the viewpoint of this consciousness.
If now we bear in mind these two words, dynamism and relativity, and apply them to the new outlook on life which is emerging today, we shall find that they afford a key to the present situation. They will serve to show which movements in the world are significant of the future and which, like a plough, are connected only with the breaking up of old forms of the past in order to make way for the new. Let us now turn our attention to some of these movements, applying this key to their understanding.
In the field of religious mysticism, Christian [Page 67] philosophy has defined mysticism as “a merging of the individual into the absolute consciousness”, it being understood that “absolute consciousness” means the transcendental Deity. Indeed, the language of mystics seems to corroborate that definition, but modern psychology and its application to the evolution of human consciousness asks for a revision of past opinion.
The Modernist leaders of Christian thought are ready to alter the traditional notions of mysticism. They criticise the use of the word “absolute” and, because they admit of evolution, conceive of religion as relativistic. They see that the conception of the world has gradually passed from one of geocentricism in the early centuries of Christianity to one of helio centricism with Copernicus in the Renaissance, and one of indefinite extension with modern astrophysics; and that ideas about the Absolute have changed accordingly. It was relatively easy for mysticism to admit of union with the god of a world of which the earth was the centre. It might be admissible with the Copernican view to regard the Absolute as central to our world, like the sun, and to feel the contact of His presence, as we felt the light and heat of our central star. But when our sun and its planets come to be regarded as a very small part of a Universe comprising billions of such stellar systems, it becomes, naturally, more difficult to conceive of mysticism as bringing us to union with the Absolute of that stupendous whole. The progress of religion, moreover, shows a closer connection with the evolving consciousness of succeeding ages than [Page 68] the community of language used by mystics had led us to believe. Arjuna's vision corroborates Hindu pantheism. Nothing in their accounts of mystical experience allows us to believe that Ignatius of Loyola, perceiving in ecstasy the plan of Divine Wisdom, saw more of it than was known in his time; or that St. Theresa, seeing all things contained in God, perceived any things that were only discovered in succeeding centuries; or that Jacob Böehme, descrying in his ecstasy the virtues of all plants, had any information of them other than the botany of his time accepted. Every mystic belongs to a particular faith and in his experience raises to the Absolute the tenets of his faith; it is an evolutionary view of those faiths themselves, with their varieties of mystical experience, that Modernism is prepared to accept.
Religion itself is beginning to lay emphasis on immanence rather than transcendence as the field and object of the religious experience. It does not, of course, deny that life immanent in man is the life of a transcendent Deity, an Absolute with regard to it, but since an evolution of the mystical experience is now admitted, from that of the primitive to that of the Christ, we cannot avoid conceiving it as keeping pace with the progress in the self-consciousness of life immanent. For evolution is life unrolling its potentialities, so that if spiritual life in man evolves, its experience or self-consciousness evolves also.
A double change, then, has come about in religious thought: (a) Spirit, once considered transcendent, is now conceived as being immanent, man's real life, of [Page 69] which he is self-conscious; (b) Spirit, the object of the mystical experience, is an evolving factor, and the variations of the mystical experience should reproduce the variations in spiritual evolution. It is, in fact, from the point of view of dual man (soul and body) that spirit is regarded as transcendent to the soul. As soon as spirit becomes immanent, the mystical experience is also reabsorbed into immanence.
Philosophy has undergone a similar change. So long as truth was regarded as a static abstraction, such as Kant and others supposed, then it could be enshrined in a system of philosophy, like the kernel in the shell of a nut. But with Bergson's philosophy of change, and with the modern conception of emergence, this is entirely altered. Truth being no longer a static quantity but an ever-changing dynamic force, it cannot be expressed, save partially, in any system. The systems thus become relative as giving glimpses of truth, but the truth itself is a becoming, not an attainment.
The recent discoveries of science are too popularly known to need more than passing mention. The dynamical view of the universe has completely superseded the older static or mechanistic conception. Matter, as a basic reality, no longer exists, that which we call an atom being nothing but a bundle of waves, a vortex of energy.
Time and space have likewise ceased to be fundamental. Both are now dependent upon velocity (i.e. dynamism) and are therefore relative. This is the union of form (space) and life (time) which is evolution. And since, in human terms, the velocity or [Page 70] rate of time flow is individual, varying for each person, so is the rate of human evolution dependent upon the individual alone. It is the rate at which he “invites the future into the present”. The Time consciousness of the New Age is that of the Eternal Becoming.
Psychology arrives at the same conclusion from its own standpoint. It recognises not only the libido, the dynamic life of man, but also it can measure with great accuracy the “rate of time flow” for each individual. The intelligence tests show clearly how rapidly or how slowly the “psyche” of each individual is evolving — and the rate varies for each. Out of psychology there is gradually emerging a science of the spiritual evolution of man.
In the study of the conflicts arising from the refusal of the conscious self to exhaust the energies which it provides for the solution of each of life's situations, and their consequent repression into the unconscious mind, psychoanalysis also exemplifies the dynamic nature of consciousness. The conflicts set up are essentially dynamic in nature.
is also clearly illustrated in psychology as it is in natural science. For
just as the physicist, discovering the energy of the atom, perceives it to
be the energy of our own solar system alone and therefore relative to it,
psychologist finds that the conscious energy he measures is different both
in power and range for each individual subject. Psychology is as individualistic
therefore relativist) with regard to spiritual man as astrophysics is in
the universe. [Page
In Ethics also great changes are occurring. The old standards of morality are being overthrown, not because they were not good, but rather because they were rigid, because they came through the authority of religion as the decree of a transcendent God, unquestioning obedience being demanded. In our previous booklet [The Evolution of Man, pages 61-63] we have cited several instances to show how that part of human consciousness which is still subjective, and cannot therefore find direct expression, makes the laws of its nature felt as restrictions in the environment, clothing them in the garb of sacred ordinance. But as evolution gradually objectifies these levels, the religious taboo falls away, and the law of being which it represented becomes a matter of direct knowledge. Losing its religious quality, it enters the domain of secular science. This is happening among ethical principles of today. The intuitional life has hitherto protected its creative power by religious taboos, but now that this life becoming partially objective, the creative power becomes a matter for science, and is appearing as social hygiene. The purity of the race will undoubtedly be preserved, and also increased, but the newer generations will find their own laws of conduct based upon their own knowledge (i.e. science). Tb will not submit to the authority of a past age.
Industry likewise shows forth the new consciousness. The nineteenth century was an age of machine, a synthetic instrument crystallised from higher mind. And the machine has become a Moloch who devours the man. But modern industry [Page 72] is entering upon an age of power (i.e. life, dynamism), as the enormous development of electrical application, not merely in big industry, but also in the home, abundantly testifies. The machine is gradually becoming the instrument or tool, and man, because he is a living being, is reasserting his supremacy. The power will come under his control, the machine will be his instrument of labour.
The process of direct trading, and the development of anonymous advertising such as “Eat More Fruit”, “Buy Empire Goods”, are further signs of the New Age in industry.
Politics is also undergoing a fundamental change, even though this department of life is often one of the last to depart from established standards and methods. But it is becoming increasingly clear that the days of the Party System are numbered. The Parties themselves are expressions of the synthetic mind consciousness. They are groupings of people who, whatever their superficial differences of opinion (and these are usually many), are agreed upon some fundamental concepts as being the necessary basis of successful government. These Parties are in politics what the categories are in Kant's philosophy. In a Social Mind Age they are fundamental and absolute.
But can this be said of them today ? Both in England and abroad the Party System is breaking down, and there is arising in its place the rudiments of a government by the whole nation, or at least the majority of it, and not merely by one section, as heretofore. In Italy this has taken the form of a [Page 73] block vote; in Germany there are now so many “parties” that they are ceasing to have much individual significance, so that the tendency is towards a government group which represents the bulk of the nation, and an opposition group which represents the minority. Signs of the same kind are not wanting in our own country. Further, there is no longer a set policy (which belongs to the “static system” of the mind), but a process of meeting the needs of the moment by whatever method commends itself as being the best. Once again dynamism and relativity.
In Finance the abandoning of the gold standard — again a fixed system — by country after country is significant of the New Age. What precise form the new financial relationships will take is still uncertain, but it seems not improbable that some kind of “managed currency” is likely to be adopted. This would enable matters to be adapted to the changing needs of the time. If such a scheme arises, then we shall have a dynamic currency in place of a fixed and unalterable system, and one more indication of the New Age will have appeared.
The world of Art, too, is pregnant with the new consciousness that is seeking appropriate expression, and many new forms are arising. But among them the student must learn to distinguish between those which are the true beginnings of the new, and those others which are the death agony of the old.
Taking music as an illustration, one can discern several influences at work. Remembering the close connection which exists between the intuitional and [Page 74] the emotional levels of consciousness, it is not surprising to find that an awakening of the former results in a stimulation of the latter. Hence the recent popularity of Jazz, which is but a westernised form of Negro (Third Root Race) music. It has no abiding value in connection with the New Age, The spread of “Negro Spirituals” (Third Sub-race of Fourth Root Race) has a similar origin, but not the same injurious effect. Concerning the former Mr. Cyril Scott, himself one of the new musicians, writes as follows :
“Jazz has been definitely ' put through ' by the Black Brotherhood, known in the Christian Tradition as the Powers of Evil or Darkness — with the intention of inflaming the sexual nature and so diverting mankind from spiritual progress”. [Influence of Music, page 151]
With this view C.W. Leadbeater heartily concurs, saying:
“All this being so — and there is not the slightest question that it is so — what can we do in the matter”. [The Theosophist, January 1932, page 389]
The second line of influence is the breaking up of the old Fifth Sub-race standards without, however, creating anything new in their place. It is the work of those who, feeling the need for change in common with their fellows, are, nevertheless, unable as yet to rise to a perception of the true influence of the intuition upon the mind. They therefore analyse the dynamism of sound to the extreme in all aspects, of rhythm (in syncopation, etc.), of timbre (saxophone, xylophone, and other new instruments, both [Page 75] wind and percussion), of melody and harmony (intervals and chords hitherto considered too wide or too narrow). Their usefulness is like that of the plough. They clear the musical soil, but they are not in themselves the seed of the new music.
Much more significant of the future, in our opinion, are the works of such composers as Stravinsky, Holst (c.f. The Planets), Cyril Scott and others, in which one finds the two elements of dynamic power (intuitional life) and harmony (higher mind synthesis) of a new type blended together. It is along such lines that a study of evolutionary psychology leads us to suppose that the New Age music will develop.
These principles could equally be illustrated in the other realms of art, where Cubism, for example, would represent the second of the above influences and, in sculpture, the works of Epstein are an instance of the third. There is great controversy over his works, and to many they are not aesthetically pleasing, but it must certainly be conceded that they succeed in portraying dynamic power. In this element we perceive the seed of Sixth Sub-race artistic expression. The older art demanded realism, such as is rendered by the camera, for it needed only to satisfy the social mind consciousness with its perception of form relationships. The new art requires symbolism, for it represents an attempt not merely to portray a form but to penetrate behind that form to a living force which cannot yet be analysed. It can therefore only be revealed symbolically as a power breathing through a mask.[Page 76]
IT is not possible to understand the place in contemporary language and thought occupied by the idea of intuition unless we admit that it answers to some reality present in the consciousness of our time. Eagerly adopted by philosophy, science, literature and art, its psychological reality is admitted even by those who oppose its metaphysics. It accompanies the modern attitude of consciousness towards itself. All schools of psychology, from the old positivist to the new idealist, concur in admitting the existence of a self which transcends all its functions, thought included. They regard intuition as the self-assertion of that central consciousness.
now conceive of an organic self which transcends all bodily
functions, rules over them, and uses them for its own purposes.
It is seen as a governing unit. In psychology that unit
is regarded as the spiritual self which is neither thought,
emotion, activity or perception. It is the creator of thought
when working through the mind, the creator of emotion through
the feelings, of activity through vital energy, of perception
through the organs of sense.
A specific faculty must be ascribed to this centre of consciousness, a faculty which expresses the [Page 77] immediacy of this total, eternal, universal consciousness. This faculty is intuition: immediate, because it is the direct affirmation of our inmost self; absolute, because it expresses the present totality of our being; synthetic, because it manifests a consciousness which is universal in time and space.
This intuition manifests itself in every department of human life, for it is itself that life which organises the departments. What Bergson describes as “the intuition” is merely an intuition — an intuition of knowledge. He omits to mention the aesthetic intuition, the mystic intuition, and the intuition of action. Yet each of these forms of intuition shows in its appropriate field the same structure and process as the intuition of knowledge. A new process of manufacture is an intuition expressed in terms of action; a system of philosophy is an intuition expressed in terms of intellect; a school of mysticism in terms of emotion; a work of art in terms of form; an institution in terms of human will or power.
The intuition is, in fact, consciousness in action, the activity of the true self, by which he sends out into the world a fragment of himself, a portion of his life, an emanation of his consciousness. It is not a rising of the personality towards the ego, but a coming forth of the ego to the world through the personality.
Proceeding as it does from the centre of life in each human being, it always appears to him as the consciousness of “wholeness”, of universality, even though it be only a relative “whole” which, in the course of his evolution, expands to include ever more [Page 78] of the truly universal. It is present at all stages of evolution, in the child as in the adult, in the primitive as in the genius or saint, at every period in the history of a race, sub-race or nation. It is the manifestation of the creative power of man, and the history of mankind is therefore the history of intuition.
The earlier chapters of this book have already shown how the self fixes his attention successively in his different functions, organising his hold upon them and transforming them, so far as he is able, from organs into instruments. These afterwards become the “automatic unconsciousness” of the psychoanalyst. It is well known that dreams analysed and compared in children and adults prove that the contents of the unconscious mind have been acquired progressively. But the psychology of the self establishes the significant fact that the unconscious, with all it's good and evil potentialities, has previously been the conscious. Hence we see how important it is, at every stage of evolution, to obtain perfect control over the function.
But the evolution of the intuition becomes clearer still when examined in the life cycle of a race, and we shall endeavour to illustrate this briefly from the history of Europe during the last 1,300 years.
During the period from A.D. 600 -1100 all the intuitions which organise society and create civilisation are forms of the active intuition. In the political field it devises the feudal system and establishes the hierarchy of knighthood, the knight being the hero of action. In the realms of religion and morals this same active intuition brings about the code of [Page 79] chivalry, or idealised action, while in literature there appears the epic poem, glorifying the man of action. Organising in the field of science, it produces the armourers and other practical workers. The simple strength of Norman architecture is also a manifestation of the intuition of action.
Towards A.D. 1100 a change occurs, which lasts until about the year 1600. During this time the organisation of society is achieved by a new intuition, working through the emotions. As a consequence the Church triumphs over the State, and the lady supersedes the knight. Warfare ceases to be merely political and becomes religious in its object; it is the age of Crusades. In religion itself the cult of the Virgin assumes a prominent place, whilst in the secular world there comes the exaltation of woman and the idealising of love. Poetry, therefore, ceases to be epic and becomes lyrical. The mind also is swept into the intuition of the emotions, and makes of philosophy a systematic ordering of revelation, an object of faith and not of knowledge. It is not authoritative because true, but is as accepted as true because authoritative, and becomes a dogma. This same intuition inspires the Gothic form of architecture and conceives of science as alchemy and astrology, in which the basic unity of matter is perceived and linked, through transmutation, to the fundamental spiritual unity.
There follows the intuition of the lower mind, from 1600 to 1800, which ushers in the Renaissance. During this time knowledge becomes truly scientific; natural phenomena and beings, analysed directly by [Page 80] the mind, are classified into groups according to their common qualities. Science now begins to demand accurate observation and measurement, employing the inductive method, demanding intellectual freedom and engaging in quantitative experiments of various kinds. This is an age of discovery, of religious and political revolutions, of the rise of empires. In philosophy this intuition finds its expression in the metaphysics of analytical concepts, of abstraction, the doctrine of “innate ideas”. This same spirit invades even the realm of religion at the time of the Reformation, affirming the right of mind to supersede faith in things religious, or at least in matters ecclesiastical. In the field of literature it inspires the poetry of humanism and the glorification of reason.
All this gives place, from about A.D. 1750 onwards, to the intuition of the higher mind or “social sense”, an age in which synthesis takes precedence over analysis. The conception of man as a social being leads to the assertion of his natural rights. Sociology therefore replaces politics as a science. The subject becomes a citizen, and absolute monarchy comes to an end. This higher mind intuition also creates its own philosophy. Discarding “innate ideas” and pure reason, it affirms its own social ideal of the categorical imperative of duty. Kant is the great philosopher of this age. In literature this is the period of romanticism, in which the feelings of the social sense are exalted and expanded until they embrace the universe. Nature is thus brought into fellowship with man, partaking of his sorrows and joys. In science itself we are led to the discovery of [Page 81] universal laws and, by the classification of forms according to time, to the development of the idea of evolution. Realising his membership of a social group, the scientist also applies his knowledge to the service of man, and thus helps to bring about the industrial revolution.
In the New Age which has now begun intuition merges self-consciousness in the flux of universal life. It is the intuition of the cosmic sense which is changing the whole attitude to life in every department of civilisation, as has always been the case when the intuition has fixed upon a new level of consciousness as its centre of life. Some of the ways in which these changes are appearing have already been discussed in the preceding chapter and need not here be repeated.
Hitherto man has identified himself with one after another of his faculties, but now that, transcending the higher mind and its social consciousness, he discovers his true nature, his real self, it is natural that he should recognise the intuition as his fundamental and essential faculty. Through it he perceives the unity of universal life — not by contemplation but by intimate experience; not by going out, objectivising himself and piercing through the shells of exterior bodies, but by retreating within and sensing his own life; not by framing thoughts and building representations of the semblances of things, but by communion uniting his life with theirs. The new metaphysics, resulting from this intuition, will be obtained, says M. Bergson, “by a kind of intellectual sympathy” which “installs itself in that which is [Page 82] moving and adopts the very life of things” .( Introduction to Metaphysics).
Thus, by retreating within, he finds both his own life and the life of all things; one and the same life, immediately sensed as one, and therefore at once known, loved and possessed; not merely a psychological absolute, the totality of his own consciousness, his own self, but also a metaphysical absolute, the totality of the consciousness of his world; the life of the individualised gods, and, since we are God's progeny, also the life of the universal God.
This intuition makes clear to us at last how knowledge, love and power can come into being. How can we know, love and act, unless we are the object of knowledge, love or action ? Have we not felt it throughout the ages, this potential universality of our consciousness? Has there not been a background of universality behind our every act ? Knowing one object, do we not feel that we are capable of knowing more and more, in an ever-extending series, and this, not because there is always some new object to be known, but because we ourselves possess infinite powers of knowledge? This background of universality is within in the knower, not without in the known : we can know the whole world because we are the whole world.
And even though our love is as yet limited to so small a number of our fellow-men, do we not know that there will come a time when we shall love them all, when they will all become to us “fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers” ? Here again the [Page 83] background of universality is not without but within, in the universal oneness of the self: we can love the whole world because we are the whole world.
And again within our actions, restricted as they are, we feel a background of universal power, which springs not from the limitless field of activity without, but from the inexhaustible fount of power within us. We know that in due time we shall conquer the world. But if our will is able to dominate the forces of nature it can only be because our will is identical with them.
Momentous consequences follow upon this self-discovery. Because man no longer identifies himself with his functions, but is immediately aware of the totality of himself, there can no longer be any separation between knowledge, religion, science, art — the particularised intuitions due to the predominance of some one function in the conscious organism. Theosophy is the philosophy of the new consciousness because, being the intuition of the universal self, it is the synthesis of all particular intuitions.
Yet the psychology of the intuition, while it opens these splendid vistas for the New Age, must still retain its sense of relativity. A psychology of evolution cannot lose sight of the relativity of time. We are ever at some intermediate point in the progress of eternal self-consciousness, and that psychology reminds us, as does that Theosophy, that we are not entering on a final Golden Age or touching the consummation of things. The New Age is the cosmic-sense period of a particular race-cycle — the Sixth (cosmic sense) Sub-race of the Fifth (higher mind) [Page 84] Root Race. The buddhi whose consciousness is now generally manifesting in the West is only that which is compatible with a higher-mind-race consciousness.
But the New Age will also see the birth of an entirely new Race, one whose consciousness will be centred in buddhi instead of in the higher mind, and a pure cosmic-sense will be manifested in its children (Sixth Root Race).
And finally, an age of the cosmic-sense cannot be one of sacrificial renunciation. For its intuition of universal and external life atonement must proceed, not from compassionate submission to fatal misery and death, but out of the joy of communion with the perennially springing fountain of creation. Sin loses its condemnation and death its sting when life has been found by all men. The new Gospel of the Divine love must indeed preach, the Kingdom of Happiness.
|Bergson, Henri||Creative Evolution|
|Bergson, Henri||Introduction to metaphysics|
|Darmesteter, J.||Zenda Avesta|
|Das, Bhagavan||Science of Social Organisation (Laws of Manu)|
|Krishnamurti,J.||The Kingdom of Happiness|
|Marcault,J.E.||Psychology of Intuition|
|Marcault,J.E. and Hawliczek,I.A.||Evolution of Man|
|Müller, Max.||Six systems of Indian Philosophy|
|Preston, E.W., and Trew,C.G.||Studies in Evolutionary Psychology|
|Scott,Cyril||Influence of Music on History and Morals|
|Stevenson, R.L.||A Child's garden of Verses|
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This document is a
publication of the
Canadian Theosophical Association (a regional association of the Theosophical Society in Adyar)
89 Promenade Riverside,
St-Lambert, QC J4R 1A3
To reach the President - Pierre Laflamme dial 450-672-8577
or Toll Free - from all of Canada 866-277-0074
or you can telephone the national secretary at 905-455-7325